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benedict's decision highlights how the nature of the papacy has changed. >> it's become much more demanding. you're much more public. you're in print. c1 you're in print. you're on video. 60 years ago, pope pius xii would not have had the same demands on him in any way. >> maybe it's not so much that their job has changed, but the expectations have changed. the immediacy. there's so many things that we as a society have developed into this instantaneous culture and that no longer are we waiting for a letter to arrive from rome. when we get an instantaneous mass delivered message, i mean, that's a whole shift. >> as the news of benedict's impending departure took hold, people inside and outside of the church began offering assessments of his legacy. >> i think that pope benedict brought a refreshing and wonderful attention to theology. >> pope benedict has been, has had great clarity in his teaching on issues with respect to the sanctity of life, with respect to marriage, with respect to religious liberty. >> he certainly was in tune with modern technology, even joining twitter just a few we
enjoy of his papacy. >> we will be going live to rome in a moment to get more detail on the speech, but first, a closer look, and the momentous day for catholics around the world. >> a final farewell to the faithful -- people flocked to the vatican to bid goodbye to " benedict, both as the head of the catholic church and as a bishop in rome. the pope took his time. this vehicle stopped several times so he could less children. an estimated 150,000 worshipers had congregated at st. peter's square. they had come from all over the world to be here, to hold up messages of banks and pay reference to the outgoing pontiff. among them, many from the pope's native germany. benedick was the first german pope in half a millennium. a brass band played the anthem of the very where the pope was born and raised. in his address, he spoke candidly about his almost eight- year papacy. he drew an analogy from the bible, saying there had been days of sunlight, but there had also been stormy waters and head winds when the lord seemed to be sleeping. the pope also directly addressed worshipers, expressin
, george, some times very difficult papacy, any papacy is hard, you wrote about this today, the idea that becoming pope is actually an impocket task, but he said that he faced choppy seas, head winds at times, your thoughts about his final address to the people. >> chris, like you, i was struck by how interestingly autobiography cally this last speech was. it was within a new testament framework. this pope treats the new testament not as if it were an ancient artifact as it was a template to live one's life. sometimes in difficult circumstances, he's asking all of us in the church and in particularly these cardinals, who now have an extremely, heavy burden, laid on them. to understand, like the gospel story of peter, walking on the water, across to the boat of jesus, peter walking from the boat to jesus, excuse me that you can do impossible things if you keep your eyes on the lord. once you start looking around, once you start looking at all of those waves, you start to sink. so, there was a message in here, a challenge, that we're all in the boat together. the boat may be rocking at
of the population that may not agree with the papacy but like the pope. >> with all of that, back to you. we'll have a full day of these last ten hours of the papal transition. >> thanks so much, christiane amanpour. americans will be well represented in rome during the conclave and before a lot of american cardinals. one of the most interesting things i feel today as the pope meets individually with each cardinal. one way or another he'll be face to face with the next pope. we don't know who that is yet but there will be a picture, a moment he'll share with the person who will ultimately replace him. >> will he have a last-minute influence with each one? it will be interesting to watch. >> here's a quick look at a step-by-step roll of what today will look like. 5:00 a.m. eastern, the pope meets with the cardinals already in rome. he'll make a few brief comments, nothing prepared. at 1:45 he departs the courtyard. he'll land in his temporary retirement home, castel gandolfo. these will be his last words spoken as pope in public. later, 2:00 eastern, 8:00 p.m. local time in italy, the pope will no lo
charismatic leaders of the 20th century, and benedict's papacy has been a troubled one. but today on his last full day as pope, all ull that seemed to matter was that he was there with the faithful one final time. it was a sweet swan song on a glorious roman morning. a huge throng of pilgrims turned out for pope benedict xvi's final audience and as he drove through the crowd one last time, they pressed forward, they cheered, they reached out to him in fond farewell to this soft spoken old man who shepherded the catholic church for almost eight turbulent years, and who now is laying aside the keys. he spoke to the pilgrims, to the listening world personally. nostalgic at times, but also recalling difficult moments. the scandals and troubles. there have been times when the seas were rough and the wind against us, he said, as in the whole history of the church, it has ever been and the lord seemed to sleep. but he kept the faith and won their hearts. what a scene it was back there. we're joined now by christiane amanpour. first, pope benedict xvi. his legacy, what do you think? >> i think that h
benedict's legacy, that he has changed potentially of how we look at the papacy, how those cardinals that go into conclave view the papacy in viewing the position that one would hold for life. >> it may be kind of a water shed, setting a new precedent. but i think one of the things that's important to realize is that even though this decision is so new, and it's so bold and it took so much courage and strength to make the decision, it actually reiterates and confirms a truth about the papacy that we have always held in the catholic church that. the papacy was really an office that was established by jesus christ. it doesn't belong to the man. it's not about the man who's the pope. it's about an office that was established by god in order to bring to help the church have unity and to guide the church throughout the tum multis of history. there's been a lot of tumultuous periods in the history of the church. but by making this statement or making this move, this decision, the pope is reminding us, well, it's not the pope that runs the church. it's really god. we really believe that the
you think pope benedict 1'6" will have on the conclave and the way the papacy proceeds in the future? >> well, first of all, the most important way the pope has to put his imprint on the election of his successor is by naming the cardinals who will vote. 67 of the 115 cardinals have been named by benedict xvi and any other influence pales in comparison to that. benedict has said he'll be hidden from the world. and so in that sense, he's not going to have any direct fingerprint on the future of the church, but in-evidently there will be people measuring what the new pope does by what the old pope might have done. >> and you mentioned the 67 cardinals he has elevated throughout his eight years on the throne. we know that there are so many different facts if you like, different views, different followings of the catholic church depending on where you look. in the the united states, afternoon more progressive wing that would like to see more modernism that correspondents to the challenges of today. we know that in africa and asia, it's growing much faster than anywhere else and by and la
or a lot of the problems that have come to a head during the pope's papacy. one started to come out well before he got elevated to pope, the scandal of pedophilia and the rights of the church, the scandal that truly acquired global dimensions. we heard cases in europe, latin america, the united states, and across the world. that is one pressure the papacy has faced. the other one has been perhaps more recent and -- the various financial allegations, allegations of financial mismanagement within the vatican. we will find out more details when the news conference starts at about 15 minutes. but we do know pope benedict xvi himself a few years ago has always said if the pope should feel whatever reason he could not go on, whether moral issues, psychological, or by physical, the pope should resign. people resignations are very rare indeed. if i am not mistaken, the last one to resign was in 1415. so, it is a very strange thing and a very rare thing. >> that is what i wanted to ask you about. we have not had any papal resignation. >> it is a surprise but also, i guess, a big challenge because
-- papacy of benedict xvi. >> his speech was meant to be clear signal of improved relations. >> shalom. i would like to take this opportunity to assure you that i intend to continue with all my strength toward improved relations with the jewish people. that is the path on which john paul ii took great steps. >> years later, he visited auschwitz. but this was just one side of a tricky balancing act. his actions within the church causing doubts about his commitment to the friendship. in 2007, benedict revived the mass that satisfied a conservative catholics, but it includes the good friday prayer for jews asking that they recognize jesus sows their savior. he sparked controversy again when he lifted the excommunication of the ultra- conservative bishop, an advocate for denying the holocaust. he immediately sought to contain the damage. he called holocaust denial intolerable and met several times with jewish leaders. but we cannot expect a stronger commitment to continued dialogue and warm friendship between judaism and christianity. >> he continually sought contact with jewish leaders worki
. >> i think it's important to remember that the papacy is -- it's a burden. he's looking right now, right in front of him,him, he has the -- elsik for these chosen men, they'll have to carry a burden. it e it's parenting to the highest degree. the papacy doesn't have a clock off time. it doesn't a moment when the cares of the world. we tend to think of our own corner of the world. which he sees in front of him right now. they are on their shoulders. >> if you're just joining us here in the united states, we're watching the final public appearance for pope benedict xvi, this is his wednesday general audience. in winter, it will be held indoors. today it's outside. because about 200,000 of the faithful are packing st. peter's square, beyond the square and down there. he has made this decision to step down, in a context we have never seen in this church. there, we see the video from just a little bit earlier of the ride he made around the square. kissing babies. taking them out of the audience. smiling. waving to the crowd. to cheers. there will soon to be two popes. one emeritus. bot
suited to an adequate exercise of the papacy. >> i'm shocked. >> reporter: around the world, the reaction was the same. >> today's decision by benedict xvi to resign from the papacy came as a huge surprise to me and to everyone in rome and in the vatican. >> reporter: it hadn't happened for almost 600 years. for 600 years popes died in office. with this one stroke, benedict xvi has changed history. >> no one alive has seen that happen. and the dynamics of that are completely unknown. >> reporter: just under eight years ago he stepped out on the balcony joseph ratzinger chosen to succeed john paul ii who reigned as pope for 25 years. >> he had a hard act to follow. >> a very difficult act. >> reporter: father james marten is editor at large of the magazine "america". >> he is the beloved professor. >> reporter: benedict was a shy man with a great reputation in the church. a theologian a strong advocate for a return to tradition in the face of the modern world. but these were hard years for the catholic church and the pope. there was the agony of the sex abuse scandal in several countries.
, 8:00 local time there will be the end of his papacy. that's the end of his usual work day. also a little window into the strain that he's saying he's looking forward to getting away from. a day that went from very early until 8:00 every day. very taxing, especially for someone his age. >> the bells are ringing now. they're going to ring when the helicopter lands as welch brings me back to what i enjoy so much about all of this is the pomp and circumstance of it. people can be critical, father beck, of the pomp and circumstance of the catholic church, but it is what makes it the catholic church. >> it is what inspires us, right? it lifts our spirit to something more majestic than ourselves. so it really facilitates our prayer, i think. >> it's what andrew greeley used to call the poetry of catholicism that binds us to the church even when we have our problems with it. and i think that's true. and you're also looking at a church that has always known the power of art and the power of art as a pathway to god. i mean it's -- you know, the answer to the reformation was really? look a
2. both he and john paul ii saw their papacies an attempt to interpret vatican too properly. not so much a modernization of the church, vatican ii was an evangelical missionary council. to some degree modernizing to make the church a more apt meaning to that. hence the wide travel for example of john paul ii, hence the great teaching of benedict xvi. i think that's his major legacy. >> they're very different at least in their style and in their i guess pastor abilities in some way, although not very different philosophically. >> this has been a really unsuccessful papacy and the greatest single act of his papacy is that our church is in real trouble and i am not able to cope with the trouble that we're in. i think there are some of the cardinals that are hoping that the next pope that they elect will convene a vatican 3, something that will set the church on a new course, reach out to the modern world, instead of what has happened under john paul ii as well in terms of the theology and benedict which has been a look backwards in terms of what the theology means, what the role of the
constantly i'm not abandoning the church. the pope has never felt alone in his papacy and he wanted us also to feel the same. so i think he really wanted to comfort the world and also to assure the cardinal electors this morning that god will raise up a good pope able to take the reins of the church able to evangelize the world in front of pressing questions. many people have those questions. the cardinals are meeting already and they're beginning to discuss who will that man be. i think the pope himself really wants the cardinals to elect a man who can delve into the difficulties that the curia is facing at this moment. >> monseigneur figuerdo, thank you very much. let's listen in for a moment as we see the pope exiting the papal apartments as he will walk into san damaso courtyard and be greeted by his household staff. [ applause ] >>> the pope making his final good-byes. those assembled kissing the ring of the fisherman on the pope's right hand as you saw right there. it is the symbol of his authority in the papacy. it is a ring that he will be giving up a little bit
. >> reporter: pope benedict 16 says he will be quitting february 28, less than 8 years into his papacy. he said his strength has deteriorated the last couple months and he noted a lack of strength to fulfill his mission. the senior sa senior advisor sae noticed the pope slowing down. we watched pope john paul ii suffer through the last few years of his papacy. maybe he wanted to avoid that. the former cardinal joseph ratzinger was touched by the charges of child abuse in the catholic church. bill: what happens next on the dates that are aren't? >> reporter: he's leaving february 28, 8:00 p.m. local time in rome. that leaves that very important vacancy and sets up a conclave of cardinals. vatican says by mid-march at the latest. vatican says we should have a new pope by esther sunday march 31. pope benedict will not take part in the conclave. usually a conclave happens after a pope dies. 1415 was the last time a pope quit in office. who is the next pope? he could come from developing areas of the world. it guarantees a lot of drama and a lot of black or white smoke coming from the roof is sistin
since the 15th century: a sitting pope, benedict xvi, announced he is giving up the papacy. the news reverberated around the globe and stunned many of the world's 1.2 billion catholics. >> it was a big surprise because this doesn't happen all the time. and my first reaction was to pray and to call my friends, texted my friends and asked even my non-catholic and nonbelieving friends to keep us in their thoughts and in their prayers. >> i had never heard anything like this in my life. the pope has to be there until he dies. and he is resigning? >> popes can't resign. this hasn't happened in 600 years. a pope can't resign. this news isn't right. >> suarez: a pope abdicated in 1294 but the last pontiff to do so was gregory 12th in 1415. pope benedict's decision at age 85 came in an announcement made in latin during a meeting of cardinals at the vatican. >> dear brothers, i have called you not only for the three can onizations but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the church. after having repeatedly examined my conscience before god i have come to t
station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: the papacy of benedict the sixteenth officially ended today as he became the first pontiff in modern times to resign. on his last day, he spoke with the cardinals who will now turn to choosing his successor, amid continuing scandals and tensions within the vatican and wider church. we begin with our coverage with this report from james mates of "independent television news." >> reporter: looking a little frail, weary almost under the burdens of a tumultuous eight years in the holy see, pope benedict met his cardinals for a final time. in the magnificent surroundings of the vatican's clementine room, he thanked them and recognized that one of those now applauding will soon be in his place. "among you," he said, "there is the future pope to whom already today and i promise my unconditional reverence and obedience." he said a personal farewell to each cardinal, among them peter turksen of ghana who many believe may be the first black pope in more than a thousand years. but pope benedict's speech yesterday shows hints of trouble within the v
to be there right now. >> you could feel the history, robin. just a few hours left, now, in pope benedict's papacy. and people are starting to gather in st. peter's square here in rome. his meeting with the cardinals has ended. here's what's going to happen next. 5:00 rome time, 11:00 on the east coast. the pope will leave the vatican, go to the helipad behind st. peter's and take off for castle gandolfo. that's about a 15-minute helicopter ride. vatican cameras will follow it. we'll cover it live here on abc news. he'll address the townspeople there in castle gandolfo. and his papacy ends. at this moment, the swiss guards who have been protecting popes for more than 500 years, the longest standing army in the world. you see them there in their colorful uniforms. they will leave castle gandolfo and close the doors and walk off-duty. that will end the papacy for pope benedict. and a new chapter in the catholic church will begin. robin? >> george, we'll get back to you in a little bit. so great to have you there. >>> now, to the dramatic trial of the star university of missouri quarterback. taking t
papacy. >> with that growing speculation about a successor, many people are still wondering about current post -- pope's declining health. as the world's 1 billion catholics come to grips with the news, some are hoping the next pope will be younger. >> tourists waited in line, but it was far from business as usual at st. peter's square. reporters from around the world have come here as well. on tuesday, the vatican spokesman held a press conference. he said pope benedict made his decision to resign after his trip to new mexico and cuba last march. >> this trip, combined with the witness that comes with old age, led him to his decision to resign. >> the pope's brother said benedict had thought the matter over carefully. >> it is his view that he cannot responsibly perform his duties as long as he does not have his full strength and that it requires someone younger with more power. >> the senior cardinal said benedict's time at the head of the church was marked by reflection as well as out of reach. >> it was a reserve papacy but a tremendously important one. he possessed the principles of
of the seat of st. peter. >> many wonder how history will interpret benedict's papacy and what will happen to him when he steps down. a question also on the minds of followers gathered today in rome. the pope had only a simple request -- >> thank you for the love and prayers that have accompanied me over the last difficult days. continue to pray for me, the church, and the future pope. >> benedict will relinquish his papacy on february 28. then, the college of cardinals will choose the next successor. am i a moment, we will have some football news. boardman are in action in the champions league frowned. >> first, a look at some other news from around the world. >> authorities in afghanistan say at least 10 civilians have been killed in a nato airstrike. victims reportedly included several children. the attack happened near the border with pakistan. officials say taliban fighters were also killed in the air strike. >> officials in california say they believe a former police officer who was the subject of a week-long manhunt is dead. a charred body has been found in a remote cabin where chri
to resign. what does this mean for his legacy? >> the papacy which is relatively short, the combination of that and the sex abuse scandal, probably means we'll see him in 50 years or something like that as the consolidation of the conservative movement of the papacy. he will be seen as the second part of the john paul ii papacy rather than as somebody who made a huge mark of his own, at least not in terms of the wider world. >> beyond those efforts, was he trying to change the church in any way? >> he came in saying he was willing to make the church smaller if it would make it holier, which to some extent he may have achieved. he believed in internal evangelization. >> what do you think of the timing of this february 28th? it means we'll have a new pope by easter. >> it's remarkable. i can't imagine what kind of jockeying will again to go on. it's fascinating to think who may be next. >> david, thank you very much. . this morning at st. patrick's cathedral in new york, the archbishop of new york cardinal timothy dolan, said he is as shocked as anyone to hear the p
clear that despite reports to the contrary he never felt alone during his papacy and he answered his critics who said that the pope should not come down off the cross, he said there are many different ways of staying on the cross and for him in retirement it will be a life of prayer and meditation. richard. >> the next pope will take over the world's largest church with 1 billion members world wide at a time of crisis with sex abuse scandal looming large in the minds of many and how church should adapt to modern challenges. george, good morning. thanks for being here. what's your thought. what will be the biggest challenges facing the next pope? >> when the next pope, richard, steps out on that st. peter's basilica first thing he has to communicate he's a man of profound and deep christian faith, a charismatic leader who can invite others to consider the faith of the church. second thing he has to do is take a grip on the bureaucratic disaster, frankly, that is the roman church today. there needs to be serious house cleaning in the vatican bureaucracy so the church becomes an instrum
his papacy -- his papacy. this was a public farewell, but a very personal and honest and poignant one as well. it was extraordinarily ritualistic, but also groundbreaking. >> they really are in uncharted territory. the last boat retired -- to retire -- the last hope to retire did so 600 years ago. he will be polk americas, retain his title, still wear the white vestments, -- he will be topa amera test, retain his title, and still wear the white vestments. there will be two pubs in the vatican, which raises questions. -- there will be two popes in the vatican, which raises questions. the papal ring will be smashed with a silver hammer. the seal will be destroyed to prevent any kind of forgeries. he will also forego, we are told, the red shoes, the famous red shoes. there has been much speculation as to whether they are prada or not. they will -- they will be replaced by brown handmade shoes from mexico. apparently, he will make one more appearance on the balcony and that will be it. he needs to be hidden. he will lead a cloistered life. there will be questions over whether he will writ
for me. >> reporter: in his unusually personal sermon, benedict called the papacy a great weight, filled with joy and difficulty. speaking of the rough seas he encountered, he conceded there were times when the lord seemed to sleep. for a moment, the burden seemed to lift. but not for long. today the cardinal who will announce the new pope said the cardinal electors should be told more about the secret report into vatican corruption. monday, benedict said it would be read only by him and his successor. >> i think they want to know the nature of the problem. they want to know the extent of it. and they want to be able to measure candidates for the papacy against the depth of those problems. >> reporter: corruption is just one issue facing the next pope. he will have to deal with clergy sex abuse and a younger generation that is drifting away. >> the one thing that changes with every pontificate is the style, face, manner. the one thing that doesn't change is the message. and so we have to find ways of packaging the message so that it actually gets to this generation. >> reporter: a challe
will continue to serve god. his second to last public appearance as pope. he'll step down from the papacy thursday evening. the first pope to do so in 600 years but even in his final days as pope benedict can't escape the controversies that consumed much of his papacy. through a spokesman o'brien denies the charges is seeking legal counsel as always, why are you awake? shoot us an e-mail. or tweet us or me at bshactman >> still ahead on way too early -- the new york yankees suffer a major setback, curtis granderson hit by a pitch in his very first plate appearance. >>> plus -- >> i want to acknowledge steven spielberg. >> i want to thank canada. our friends in iran. >> he's a really jacked up. ben affleck might have been snubbed for best director nomination, but he had plenty to say when his film "argo" took best picture. >>> iraq launched a devastating schedule missile attack on saudi arabia. one. two. three. my credit card rewards are easy to remember with the bankamericard cash rewards credit card. earn 1% cash back everywhere, every time. [ both ] 2% back on groceries. [ all ] 3% on g
and his surprise resignation, which surprised the catholic world. they assure us the papacy will only be vacant for a short time. so, what happens now? pope benedict xvi will resign if the end of the month. the process of electing the next pope starts on march 1. the vatican will go through a conclave in the sistine chapel until two-thirds of the cardinals agree on a successor. it is expected the new pope will be in place by easter. ,et's talk more about this joined by came -- joined from cambridge by professor duffy. first of all, is ethnicity going to be a factor, do you think? >> it is anybody's guess. the church is growing fast in africa and china and parts of latin america. it would be natural to look there for a new pope. the fact that we have had a polish pope and that a german pope clears the way for someone of any nationality. so, it is anyone's guess. myself, i would be very surprised indeed if it was an italian or western european pope, but no one knows. >> going back to history and into the history books, professor, there have been non- european popes in the past, admitted
difficult times during his papacy but told his people he has great trust in the future of the church. allen pizzey is in st. peter's scare. allen, good morning. >> reporter: good morning. there are fierce concerns about whether or not the monostic life benedict is about to fade into will keep him from having influence on the next papacy. that's for tomorrow. today he was center stage. benedict made a stately arrival for his last general audience aboard a pope mobile perhaps taking advantage of the last time he will have use of one of the specially made vehicle. the crowd of st. ter's square was half the 200,000 the vatican predicted and catered for but the welcome was warm. the pope thanked the crowd as he put it "from the bottom of my heart," and told them he was fully aware of the seriousness and novelty of his decision to resign. cardinals were gathering to choose benedict's successor held places of honor and seemed moved by the occasion. the 115 cardinals eligible to vote will be looking for a pope who can meet the challenges in the church, the sex abuse scan
xvi about to carry out the last chaj of his papacy meeting one by one with the cardinals who will choose his successor and he might be face-to-face with the next pope in just a few minutes on this last day on the throne of st. peter. good morning. welcome to this special edition of "early start." i'm john berman. >> and i'm zoraida sambolin. we'd like to welcome our viewers from around the world on cnn international. it's the top of the hour, thursday, february 28th. we are witnessing history in the making. no one alive has ever seen a sitting pope step down. >> it is all unfolding right now and by 2:00 p.m. eastern, pope benedict xvi becomes pope emeritus. but there is still a lot to do before then. the meeting at this hour with the cardinals who will ultimately choose his replacement. over 100 of them plan to be on hand. the pontiff will spended i ed a or two with each of them. >> and then cardinal sodano will speak. >> the departure of this pope after what really has been a turbulent eight-year reign leaves the catholic church in unchartered waters right now. its 1.2 billi
and he paid a price for that. his papacy will be remembered for its scandals. those endless sexual abuse coverups that cost more thbilli. during a financial scandal, tried and failed to clean up corruption. and the vatileaks scandal. a vatican back-stabbing in intrigue. he may have been the first pope to tweet, but as the leader, he tried to hold back the forces, refusing to expand the role of women. now, though, he is accepting the reality of the modern world. and the catholic church enters new territory. can the church cope with having an ex-pope alive while a new pope tripes to create his own legacy? >> this is the tremendous question that lies before us. there is no job description for a retired pope. >> reporter: so, benedict remains pope until the end of the month. the cardinal s have to assemble here for a conclave to elect his successor. that takes us to mid-march. that means a billion catholics around the world should have a new pope by easter. diane? >> all right, jeffrey, thank you. and, of course, that new pope will have to face the call for change, from many people in the am
resign from the papacy on february 2th making him the first pope to voluntarily step down in over 600 years. his speech made no direct reference to that decision but asked loyal pilgrims to pray for him and the next pope. >>> maybe he has health problems but there are also problems inside the church. many things have happened that wear in the aware of but he knows what problems he should face. >> reporter: traditionally, vatican cardinals wait 15 to 20 days after the papacy is vacant to vote for the new pope. many have i wanted the conclave may start sooner than march 15th. white smoke will pour from the vatican's condominium any in a consensus for a new hope is reached. his holiness cited poor health and advancing age as a reason for giving up the papacy. but questions about what is next remain after an unprecedented decision in this modern age. >> i think he could not stand to see any more rot within the church and felt someone younger could do better. >> probes will be out of the public eye for at least a week as catholics prepare medicine -- meditation and services. >>> oscar pist
and has told them that he will resign from the papacy on february 28th at the end of this month. >> much more on that story on news 4. tom is tracking this chilly rain. weather and traffic on the 1s next. ♪ [ male announcer ] from our nation's networks... ♪ ...to our city streets... ♪ ...to skies around the world... ♪ ...northrop grumman's security solutions are invisibly at work, protecting people's lives... [ soldier ] move out! [ male announcer ] ...without their even knowing it. that's the value of performance. northrop grumman. >>> we're following breaking news right now at 6:40. pope benedict xvi has announced he will resign at the end of the month on february 28th, citing health reasons, saying he no longer has the strength to adequately carry out his duties. this is the first time since 1415 that a pope resigned from his duties. an nbc analyst saying this amounts to abdication and that the papacy will remain vacant until someone else is elected. >> we're keeping a close eye on the vatican and on churches in our area as they get word on what happens happening in vatican ci
april 2005 who took over for the immensely popular pope john paul ii. his papacy has been marked by controversy. the pope criticized for how he handled the situation in his prior jobs when he was archbishop in germany and later a top vatican official. on a visit to america in 2008, he became the first pope to meet with the victims themselves. on a lighter note, benedict has become known as his personal idiosyncracies like his bright red shoes. he's been using a moveable platform to carry him down the aisle of st. peters basilica. this morning after he made his announcement, he was helped down from his chair. while this is a surprise the pope has said in the past that he reserved the right to resign if he felt too old to perform his duties. what's next? he still hopes to serve the church through a life dedicated to prayer. elizabeth, back to you. >> greg, good morning to you. lot of people really surprised by the announcement this morning. some cardinals in the audience didn't understand what pope benedict was saying? >> that's also true. one of those occasions in rome the pope ac
to his papacy. he had in his mind already what type of glorious exit, to use the phrase, he may want in store for him. let's get some perspective as to what is coming out of the vatican as to why this is happening, what it means. john allen, our senior vatican analyst, joins us now. what do we know, john? >> reporter: what we know is that we are living through a day of enormous shock here in rome. not so much the pope benedict xvi chose to resign. he signaled two years ago that he would be open to doing that, but the fact that we had absolutely no indication this was coming today. precisely because of that, therefore, there are some enormous unanswered questions about how all of this is going to play out. i suppose the biggest questions would be, "a," what will the role of a retired pope be? will he continue to play any kind of public role? will he continue to exercise any influence on the future direction of catholicism almost whether he wants to or not? and the second obvious question is the one, i think, going through the minds of some 120 cardinals around the world today, which i
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